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Porto Carthago
Game History

Until the release of Porto Carthago I'll write down every monday some details about the development of the game or show my visitors a little new graphics.

July, 6th 2010:
First we go back to the roots of Porto Carthago:
In 2005 I've seen a documentary about the rise and fall of ancient carthage in TV. Especially the harbor made me deeply stunning. It was its time far ahead and was the major reason, that carthage became such a successful and important nation of economic and mititary power.
Already during watching the documentary, my brain started to work. A game-idea forced itself upon: the delivery of goods onto the incoming ships.

Boxprint of one side

The first prototype was created very fast, but before the first testing in a real game round I tested it uncountable times with myself. In late 2005 the game was almost ready for the first real tests, which went out very well... As well, that Peer Sylvester gave Porto Carthago his award for the best unpublished game in 2005.

July 12th 2010:
I was so motivated by this, that I haven't done any game changes. I was very safe, that a publisher wanted to publish the game like it was.
But the first feedback put me back down to earth: the game is too complicated, full of little details and much to long! The good thing was that I got this feedback really fast and also I got some help from them with my rules to write them better and with a bit more structure.

July 19th 2010:
Today I'll show you two more graphics


July 26th 2010:
Despite the decline, I wasn't tired to work at the game on and on: I wanted to straighten the game, delete some rule details and tried to make it much better.
Too bad (so I know now!), I haven't seen that I enclosed new details, so the game was not shorten or even easier... I was too blind in this stage. We wrote the year 2007 and once again I tried to send Porto Carthago to another publisher to check it out. At the same time an additional publisher also asked me for the game, so I did a second prototype to spread to both of them. My hope to see the game published grew up.

August 2nd 2010:
With one of those two publishers I met during the Spiel 2007 to show them the game and explain all the details. This publisher showed a lot of interest, but after the test they told me the game have too many "ifs - thens", also six game rounds are too long without any progress. So I shorted the game, changed some little things and was in close contact with them for a while.
The "parallel publisher" gave me a run-around without a worthy feedback. In early 2008 I got the refuse from publisher 1 and a little later I asked for my game back from publisher 2, because I heard nothing concrete of them (we have 80 high quality prototypes here - those lucky guys). I felt empty, like in the beginning.

August 9th 2010:
Today I'll show you two more graphics

Two of the Actioncards

August 16th 2010:
After a few months of frustration, I restarted the work. Now I had a free brain and a bunch of new energy. Finally I dissolved me from old dragged-in mechanisms: the choice of the Action cards was full of luck, because a player has only a choice of 4 different action cards as maximum, which was not that good for a game like this. Sometimes a player could only do something needless. I found the card choice, like it is now and besides this I put the privileges directly onto the ship cards - this saved me a complete game-phase.
The possibility to end the game one round earlier was a new feature and also the path of intrigue was new. This path should become a big progress: On one hand it's possible to get 3 additional places in the palace (one more strategic option), on the other hand this strengthen the double bind around the servant-management.
In additional play tests was shown, that the path of intrigue was used very different: In one round it was nearly unused, while in another round there grew a kind of group dynamics, that all places were full.

August 23rd 2010:
Time to show the cover:

Cover Porto Carthago

August 31st 2010:
30.08.2010 At the end of 2008, the work for Peloponnes became the first priority. During the time, in which I got the first orders for Peloponnes, my head became clearer and clearer, that Porto Carthago should be the Irongames-game for 2010!
Directly after the Essen fair 2009 I was looking for an artist and stumbled over Oliver Schlemmer, who was not known in the boardgamescene. I was very convinced of his portfolio, and after a personal meeting we made the deal. After his big success with Fresco also his name became a number in the boardgamescene. I hope his graphics for Porto Carthago will also impress the game-fanatics.
From this day an intensive phase of gametesting also with some external gaming groups started. Their feedback was almost positive and strengthed me to have another good game to publish. Until the last moment there were some little changes and I thought my time would ran out. Peloponnes was ready much earlier. However, I have to thank my beautiful wife, who made the rules very fast, so we were just in time.

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Bernd Eisenstein - 
		Porto Carthago - Irongames

Infos Porto Carthago

Onlineshop - Irongames